More than 8,000 members of the GMB union have rejected the latest pay offer from NHS Scotland as 60% voted against the offer.
The threat of strike action this Christmas remains as 1,700 ambulance service and more than 8,000 NHS staff rejected the offer.
The Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered a pay rise ranging from £2,20 to £2,751, which the government claims they would be the best paid in the UK.
This would mean the lowest NHS staff member would be paid an extra 11.3% and the average pay increase would be just 7.5%.
GMB Scotland senior organiser Keir Greenaway said the rejection “reflects our members’ views and the realities of this offer.”
Greenaway said, “It is still below inflation for the vast majority of staff, who worked through the depths of the pandemic and are struggling in the grip of this cost-of-living crisis, and it doesn’t go far enough in itself to confront the understaffing crisis affecting frontline services either.
“The Scottish Government has contrasted its approach on trade union engagement with that of the UK Government, so we are now asking the Cabinet Secretary to practice what he preaches by meeting our members this side of Christmas to continue discussions over their value and the sustainability of their services.
“It is important the Cabinet Secretary takes on board the views of all NHS staff and not just some, because we are talking about frontline workers who understand first-hand the crisis across service delivery and patient care, and they have clear and credible views on how these services can be recovered in the months and years ahead.
“The fact remains that GMB members in major services and health board areas have strong legal mandates for strikes and an imposition of this offer without further discussion would be seriously detrimental to the industrial relations the Scottish Government have been quick to promote.
“If the Cabinet Secretary wants to preserve those relations, he must meet our members urgently.”
Yousaf said the rejection of the pay offer was “disappointing” and he expects to meet with the union before Christmas.
He said, “This best and final pay offer of over half a billion pounds underlines our commitment to supporting our fantastic NHS staff.
“A newly qualified nurse would see a pay rise of 8.7%, and experienced nurses would get uplifts of between £2,450 and £2,751.
“We are making this offer at a time of extraordinary financial challenges to the Scottish Government to get money into the pockets of hard working staff and to avoid industrial action, in what is already going to be an incredibly challenging winter.
“Constructive engagement is crucial, and I would urge the UK Government to get back to the negotiating table with the unions as we have done in Scotland. I expect to meet with the unions again before Christmas.”